My grandson will be four years old tomorrow.
In my mind I can see the photos of Fox's fourth birthday, his fifth too.
The grand was born the day before Mother's Day, his first birthday fell on Mother's Day.
I was excluded from both events, although in between I was expected to participate financially. That hurt. A lot.
I didn't get to meet my first (and probably only) grandchild until he was four months old and his mother decided that if I got to see him maybe Fox give in and marry her so he could see the baby too.
I made sure to check for the family birthmark-little guy has it-while fumbling awkwardly for the right words to say to a young woman who had my grandson and was essentially holding viewing rights up to auction and ransom.
She told Fox he couldn't see the baby unless he married her-he called her bluff and stayed away.
She upped the ante-she brought the baby 'round to my office knowing I was so family oriented that seeing him I would be moved to pressure Fox to give in.
I wasn't at all prepared to do that to Fox or the baby-it would either work out or not.
Fox came by my place later that night to borrow my truck to use for his pizza route; I told him I'd seen the baby.
A few weeks later I had an almost daughter-in-law who wanted a wedding; I took her around to bridal shops, wedding venues, the church...
I took him around to jewelers, then helped him save the money for the one she chose while on one of those shopping trips I took her on-we were walking through an upper end department store and the jewelry case caught her eye. I was favourably impressed by her choice, it really was a lovely and tasteful ring.
I showed it to Fox while we were there for baby clothes; he asked about lay-away, which they granted him, and he was really good about cutting the money out his pay check, handing the money over for me to take to the store weekly.
A month or so after he put it on her finger, her prescription pill addicted maternal aunt (yes, the same one I bought a car seat for, the same one who never bothered to strap the car seat into the car but faithfully strapped the baby into the seat...) stole it for drug money.
Of course, I didn't know that part yet, I wouldn't find that out for a few weeks. When I asked her where her ring was, she said it was too big; I got her a spacer to put on it, she still didn't wear the ring, but I kept my mouth shut because I knew something was not right, but I also knew Fox was trying and I didn't want to be a pain. Then she finally confessed that her aunt had stolen the ring to pawn for pills.
Fox and my grandson's mother broke up a month or so later, after I'd rented them a U-Haul so they could move into their own place.
A month or so after they broke up she dumped my grandson on her mother (yes, the one who also couldn't manage to figure out she needed to strap the car seat into the car, the one who had narcolepsy and was driving on a medically suspended license, the one who later thought my almost daughter-in-law should keep her stripper job long enough to refurnish the housing project apartment) and ran off to Rhode Island for six months to learn exotic dancing...
A month or so before I'd felt compelled to call DHR because she'd just picked up my grandson from my house where he'd been for a week and was having her mother (who'd just got out of hospital) pick-up the baby because my almost daughter-in-law was exhausted by the scant 18 hours she'd just spent with her son AND had just informed me during the car ride to her shampoo girl job that her mother was a narcoleptic driving on an expired license.
And, oh not to worry about Mom who'd just got out of hospital, 'cuz Aunt Junkie would be helping with the child care and driving...
Yeah, I called DHR.
My son will never forgive me-he still won't speak to me.
Yeah, it hurts.
But frankly, at the risk of sounding as though I am losing sight of the point here, Mother's Day was never a holiday Fox recognized, nor was my birthday, or Christmas...
Hey, speaking of Christmas, Christmas Eve 2004 he asked me for a ride to Walgreen's; he shopped for Christmas gifts for his baby-mama, her mother, her aunt, her sister, her sister's two children, her sister's lesbian live-in lover...
He didn't buy anything for me, and he needed to borrow money from me at the register. To pay for their gifts.
But I was not invited to spend Christmas with them; I could drive him over, drop him and my gifts for my grandson, but I could not come in.
Or attend my grandson's first birthday party-to my shame, the day before his birthday I called her and offered to bring paper plates, she said she'd call me back. She never did.
Then my son texted me about how horrid I was to not show up when everyone was expecting me to bring the paper plates.
Yeah, it was a swell Mother's Day for me, although it was a comfort when I heard my grandson had a lovely party.
Lord, I am not a bad person, nor am I Job (I want MY family, not a replacement for them) but I am ready for a new life-isn't there some great guy with the need for me in his life, and maybe some adult children who need a sort of mom in their lives-some great guy, Lord, keyword GREAT, OK?
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" He asked me, my friend did, and I answered "A granny!"
He said, "Oh, I think you have to be a mummy first!" And I thought he meant I would have to be one of Boris Karloff's creatures, the thought filled me with horror at having to be one of those shambling dusty bandage wound things just so I could be a granny. I also thought my friend was rather horrid, and wouldn't talk to him for the longest time. Which is funny because I told him when I was three that I was going to marry him when I grew up. The look of sheer horror on his face still haunts and hurts, too.
But I still want to be a granny, and I wish to God I could be a mummy-but my son hates me and my only grandchld will be four years old tomorrow without me because I object to the cess-pool he is growing up in.
If the grid doesn't fail due to the Pulse, or Peak Oil, or Avian Flu pandemic, (or any of or a combination of) the many pending catastrophic causes of TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It), perhaps one day my grandson will read this blog.
I hope he understands.
I sure as hell wish I did.